Before the All-Star break the Aces were hot, winning 7 of 8 games. It seems the three day layoff over the break killed the momentum as the Aces have dropped 3 of their last 4 entering the weekend. With the season a game past the three quarter mark, the Aces currently find themselves out of a playoff spot with a tough stretch still ahead.
For today’s double header the Aces will face-off against the Gaithersburg Giants at Criswell field starting at 4 pm. The Aces dropped the only game these teams played this season back in June 2-1. The Aces will play the home team in game one in the make-up game, with the Giants playing the home team for the regularly scheduled game two.
For game one the Aces will send Wade McNabb (Stetson) to the mound to face off against the man who dominated the Aces in the first matchup Taylor Bloom (Maryland). Mr. Bloom threw a gem as he went eight innings allowing one run while striking out 16. McNabb has been a pleasant surprise for the Aces this season in the bullpen and the starting rotation. His 0.94 ERA in 19 innings is stellar, and his 19 strikeouts don’t hurt either. Last time out Wade went six innings against the Rockville Express allowing one run on three hits while striking out seven.
For game two the Aces will send out Jake Wersinger (Wilmington) to face-off against Kevin Ross (Towson). This will be Jake’s seventh start of the season, as he comes in with a 3-2 record. One of the main rotation guys this season, Wersinger has been very good posting a 2.70 ERA in 30 innings pitched to go along with 20 strikeouts. Walks cost Wersinger last time out against the T-Bolts, but he was still able to get the win with his line being five innings pitched allowing two runs on three hits while striking out four.
The Aces (15-16) are in desperate need of wins with only nine games remaining on the season with a tough race in the south division still ahead. The Giants (10-23) have basically been eliminated from playoff contention with only seven games remaining, and will look to play spoiler tonight against a team still on the hunt for a playoff spot. Stay tuned for today’s games as you can follow along on twitter @Alexandria_Aces or listen on Aces Radio to hear Caleb Waters bring you tonight’s action.
The Aces headed to Herndon looking to right the ship after splitting a DH on Thursday night with the Vienna Riverdogs.
Alexandria was unable to do so, however, and dropped both games of a doubleheader against the FCA Herndon Braves on Friday night, losing the first game 7-3 and the second game 2-1.
The first game was not much to talk about for Aces players and fans alike. Nick DiEva (Stony Brook) got the start for the Aces and looked sharp in the first two innings. Alexandria took a 1-0 lead on a Malcolm Nachmanoff (Stony Brook) RBI single, but DiEva gave up a 2-run homer to Alex Lipman to give the Braves the lead in the third inning. Then Alan Mochabee blasted a grand slam off of DiEva in the 5th inning to break the game open.
Tad Sobieszczanski (Hillsdale Col) had a two run shot of his own in the 6th inning of a seven inning game, but it was too little, too late for the Aces, who dropped the first game 7-3.
The FCA Herndon Braves climbed just one game back from the Aces after that first win, and looked to get back into third place in the CRCBL South with a win in game two.
The second game of the DH was a pitching duel between Gabe Mosser (Shippensburg) and the Braves’ Saul Aguilera. Mosser and Aguilera both pitched seven innings and each only gave up one run. The Aces and Braves then went to extras after having already played 14 innings on the day. Brandon Justice (Col of Charleston) threw two solid innings of relief in the 8th and 9th for the Aces, picking up four K’s. Kyle Menchaca (Wilmington) came on in the bottom of the 10th inning to try and send the game to the 11th.
Menchaca walked the first batter, hit the second, and walked the third, loading the bases with no outs. Daniel DiMatteo came to the plate only needing a hit to win the game, but Menchaca hit his second batter of the inning, and the Braves picked up a 2-1 win on a walk-off HBP.
Player of the Games: Tonight’s best player for the Aces was the designated hitter, Tad Sobieszczanski. The senior from Hillsdale College did his best to keep the Aces in the first game with a 2-run homer in the sixth innning, his first dinger of the season. Sobie also went a combined 3-8 in Herndon, picking up 2 RBIs on his homerun and hitting two doubles in game two.
The Aces and Braves are now both eight games back on the Big Train. If the season ended today, the Braves would get the #5 spot in the playoffs and the Aces would get the final wildcard position. Tomorrow, the Aces head to Gaithersburg for a DH against the Giants, the 5th and 6th games in three days.
After a split with the River Dogs, and the day after the CSCBL All-Star game, the Aces currently find themselves in the third place in the Cal Ripken South, with a number five seed for the playoffs. If the Aces can continue their hot play on the field right through this jam-packed weekend, they can secure a playoff berth come July 25th.
In tonight’s battle the Aces will face-off against the Herndon Braves in you guessed it, ANOTHER double header at Herndon High School starting at 5 pm. The Braves will be the away team in the first game when they play the make-up game, with the Aces playing the home team on the road. For game two the teams will switch to play the regularly scheduled game.
For game one the Aces will send All-Star pitcher Nick DiEva (Stony Brook) to the mound to take on the Braves. So far on the season DiEva has thrown well posting a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings pitched. In eight innings against the Braves DiEva has yet to allow an earned run while striking out eight.
For game two the Aces will send another All-Star pitcher, and team ace, Gabe Mosser. So far this season Mosser has posted a 1.66 ERA in 27 innings pitched with a 4-0 record to go along with 23 strikeouts. The most impressive stat for Mosser is the fact that the Aces have won every game that he has started (6-0). In his start against the Braves earlier this season Mosser tossed six innings, allowing one run while striking out five.
The player to watch for the Aces on offense tonight will be newcomer Nick Macey (Wilmington). Macey is the new arrival for the Aces after the injury to Jake Kennedy which could sideline him for the year. Be sure to tune in, and see how the fourth Wilmington player on the Aces will fit in come Friday night.
As quickly as the Aces’ three game winning streak was extended to four games, it was snapped.
The Aces split a home doubleheader with the Vienna Riverdogs tonight, winning the first game ( a previously suspended matchup) 10-7, but dropping the second game 4-0.
Alexandria began the first of the two games by resuming the suspended game in the top of the 5th inning with the Aces leading 8-3. Mike Marcinko (Shippensburg) added one more run on a leadoff RBI single in the TOP 5 to extend the Aces lead to six runs. The Aces added one more run in the top half of the 7th inning and it looked like the Aces had an easy win, riding strong pitching from Billy Lescher (U of Penn).
The Riverdogs were not finished yet, as they plated two runs in the 8th and two more in the 9th, so Kyle Menchaca (Wilmington) was called upon in the bottom of the 9th. The Riverdogs had cut the lead to just three runs and had a bases loaded situation with two outs, but Menchaca was able to get Kevin Lachance to flyout to end the first game.
Kevin Superko (Georgetown) started the second game for the Aces in what appeared early on to be a pitching duel. Superko and Jack Gomersall, a sophomore pitcher from VMI for Vienna, both had dominant first innings. But Superko’s dominance ran out long before Gomersall’s did. Superko gave up four runs on eight hits in just four innings of work, while Gomersall pitched a complete game, keeping the Aces scoreless and only allowing two hits.
Gomersall proved to be too much for the Aces, who did not get a hit in the last five innings of play. The Riverdogs spread their four runs across the second, third, and fourth innings and evened up the series with a 4-0 victory.
Players of the Games:
For a Riverdogs fan, the Player of the Game goes to Gomersall for his incredible performance on the mound in Game 2. For the Aces, however, the Players of the Games goes to two relievers, Billy Lescher and Trevor Eulenbach (Texas Tech). Lescher started on the mound in the first game when it resumed. Lescher pitched three solid innings of relief, facing 14 batters, giving up two hits and no runs, and striking out seven batters. He also got the win because the game had previously been suspended and Mosser, who started originally, only pitched four innings.
Eulenbach was more dominant tonight than he has been all season. The sophomore pitcher came in for two innings to provide relief for Superko. Eulenbach went two innings, faced six batters and struck out four. His ability to keep the game within the Aces reach was a notable effort.
The Aces are back in action tomorrow for another doubleheader in Herndon against the Braves.
Six Aces players had the opportunity to play in the CRCBL All-Star game last night at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda. Danny Pardo, Brett Netzer, Nick DiEva, Gabe Mosser, Mike Marcinko and Kevin Superko all had the honor of being selected for the South division team, who went on to win a 3-2 contest over the North division.
With the All-Star break over and the last few games of the season within view, the Aces return home tonight to take on the Vienna Riverdogs at Frank Mann Field in a doubleheader. The first game will begin at 5:30 and the second game will begin around 7 p.m.
The first game in this doubleheader will be the makeup of a previously suspended game due to rain. The Aces were leading 8-3 in Vienna with 2 outs in the Top 5. The first game of the DH will resume at that point.
The Aces and Riverdogs have not seen much of each other this season. The Riverdogs have not been to Alexandria since the second game of the season, which they won 4-2 at Frank Mann. That visit to Alexandria is the only complete game played between these two teams this season due to rain, giving Vienna the 1-0 series advantage.
Billy Lescher is expected on the mound for Alexandria in the first game of the doubleheader. Lescher (University of Pennsylvania) has made seven appearances in an Aces uniform this summer with two of those starts. He has a 0-1 record with a 3.27 ERA. Lescher began the season as a starter, but has since moved into a mid-game reliever role. His last start was on June 24th in a 5-3 loss to the Dodgers. Lescher has pitched 11 innings, giving up 14 hits and four earned runs, and has 10 strikeouts with seven walks.
Kevin Superko will take the mound for the second game of the DH. Superko (Georgetown) was recently named CRCBL Pitcher of the Week for his eight-inning shutout and hitless performance a week ago in the doubleheader against the Rockville Express. Superko has pitched a team-high 30.2 innings for the Aces with a 2-2 record and a 1.76 ERA. Superko is getting better and better each game for the Aces and he will look to improve his record to 3-2 tonight against the Riverdogs.
The Aces have 13 games in the next eight days to conclude the regular season, with eight of those games at Frank Mann. They will be fighting for a coveted playoff spot in a close race in the South division. So come on out to Frank Mann to support your Aces.